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Submitted by Debre Zeit on
I fully agree with the W. Bank approach however big reservations I have on the political situation or the development of democratic instit. in Ethiopia or the political leadersip (notice I didn't say economic management) of P.M. Meles. Critiques of Meles like Helen Epstein have a very myopic view of politics and econ. development, which is not just short sighted and elitist but inhuman and full of ignorance. As long as the $$ is well spent responsibily to lift the poor people from abject poverty, let it be. After all, most poor people in the world who live a precariious life with their families prefer bread than so called "free speech". In Ethiopia, where a large section of the population suffers from chronic hunger, poverty and insecurity, there is no exception. Democracy, after all is a middle class issue, worse in countries like Ethiopia, it has turned out to be an elitist issue for decades. The masses have paid in their lives caught in the middle of cross fire among the elite and under a brutal and merciless military regime. Compared to Dergue, the Melese regime is like a heaven. For the first time in about 50 years, the country is seeing the light of hope, stability and progress. The country needs that stability and growth at any cost (as long as it is not an outright merciless authoritarian regime like the Derg). In fact, economic progress will most likely be the best road to democracy (with the rise of a strong middle class) than the end less ritual of civil war and strife perpetrated by the so called Ethiopian opposition or "intellegentia" in the West, which is striving to take power and making noises for so called "democracy". They could be much worse if they take power! Lastly, I wonder why organizations like Human Rights Watch don't make aggressive noises on countries like China, and instead create barriers and obstacles on poor countries like Ethiopia, to subject them to perpetual poverty! W. Bank keep up the great job! For the first time in the history of the institution, you are making a real difference in the lives of millions of poor people like in Ethiopia, and this is because of determined leaders like Meles! Africa needs leaders like Meles to alleviate itself once and for all from its 3nd class status and march on progress! DZ